When people think of computer or video games like Mortal Combat or Tekken Series or Grand Theft Auto, they think of violence in and out of the game, especially if the ones thinking is concerned parents. “Playing violent video games heat up the level of aggression in the player, and when the player still keeps thinking about the game, the potential level of aggressiveness is said to linger on for as long as twenty four hours,” according to a study in September 2012 by the Social Psychological and Personality Science published by SAGE. But what if this statement is unverified prejudice after all? Scientists still question and debate the correlation between the two.
A current report this month (February 2013) tries to amend the scientific research on violent computer and video games with an ongoing debate. But why are scientists and intellects alike concluding already when debates are still happening in the American Psychological Association?
When the law regulating the freedom of purchase of violent video games to minors was nullified by the Supreme Court, they backed it up by reasoning that the scientific evidences condemning such video-games were unpersuasive. Even talking to the scientists who have studied the correlation of violence with violent video games does not clear up to what is happening. It may be largely due to external pressures. Texas A&M International University’s Christopher Ferguson said that the fault is not only on one group, but rather on the scientific status quo. He stated that “research is not the objective procedural we’d all like to hope it is; results can be interpreted to make the case for certain findings, or they can be put out of proportion. In fact, it is a confirmed phenomenon that may or may not affect research on violent games: publication bias. If data are more likely to be published, in its case, positive correlations between games and aggression, scientists may give it more weight.”
Christopher Ferguson explains that what happens is called Moral Panic Theory. In Moral Panic Theory, what happens is that society chooses a research that fits the pre-existing beliefs, take example what happened in the recent Sandy Hook tragedy. It explains that when a particular event is publicized, the debates get even more heated up. It is in all over the papers and cable news as it is on the science lab. According to Critcher in 2009: Science is made to act as a rationale for translating moral repugnance to moral regulation. It is a fact that data and information do not always go accordingly to ordinary expectations. There are different sides to the debate, including the sides of scientists, however truthfully they have arrived to their sides. Christopher Ferguson states that there’s a lot that scientists agreed on, like how behavior is a very messy subject and that the roots of violence are complex and that a lot of various sources are necessary to be brought into any conclusion. Ferguson also added that there were many more to which the scientist don’t agree on. “Do we see a link between violent games and aggression? Is aggression a fair metric? How much evidence will it take to say there is a definitive link? The most asked question is: Where are we disagreeing?”
There are two groups of scholars, both approximately equal in number as of present time, that do not agree about the data on the violent effects of video games. “We haven’t even agreed on what we’re talking about. We’re still a while away from making conclusions,” Ferguson says.